With Love To Baltimore From California
In a few weeks my husband will complete his one-year fellowship here and we and our children will return to our home state of California.
Now that we've visited the Inner Harbor; watched games at the old and new stadiums; traveled the beltway and JFX; eaten crab cakes, crab soup, steamed crabs, crab dip, Utz crab chips and Bertha's mussels; roamed the Preakness infield; seen the BMA's Monet exhibit and the Rolling Stones at the IMAX; and been crime victims (our car was stolen -- and recovered), we're proud to say that we've "done Baltimore." I offer your readers our review of this city.
What we'll miss, in random order: fresh apple cider; the Senator; WBJC; the National Aquarium; the BSO; fall; spring; Russellmania; the Council Day Care program at Towson State University; the Cloisters Children's Museum; the zoo; close proximity to Washington, D.C.; the Maryland Science Center; Cylburn Park; Ladew Topiary Gardens; Baltimore's Child; Bo Brooks; the Brass Elephant; the Rusty Scupper, and Kevin Cowherd.
What we won't miss:
The dearth of Mexican restaurants; living in a city that averages one murder a day; Maryland's particularly poor economy; wearing gloves, hats and heavy coats every day for five straight months; and waiting at green lights for the cross-traffic to run the reds.
What we never figured out:
What constitutes the Inner Loop and Outer Loop of the beltway; why there's an Inner Harbor but no Outer Harbor; the hoopla over crab cakes; the most efficient route into Washington, D.C.; why the city built a new baseball stadium while closing the public libraries; why pedestrians absolutely cross the street in the middle of rapidly moving traffic, and where to find orioles (the birds, not the baseball team).
Although we enjoyed our stay here, we look forward to returning to California, land of perpetual sunshine, cool dudes and dudettes, abundant ethnic foods, continuing drought, high unemployment, earthquakes, rioting and looting.
Thanks for a wonderful time, Baltimore. It's been fun -- later, hon!
Wendy W. Nugent
Why County Teachers Took Action
The editorial, "Lesson for TABCO Teachers" (June 3), reaches a new low for irrational thinking. Are you really saying that County Executive Roger Hayden and the County Council are willfully limiting educational opportunities for Baltimore County children to give "public school instructors a lesson in mathematics"?
We have had our disagreements with the county executive and the County Council, but they are decent people. They would not conspire to the irresponsibility you suggest. You owe them an apology.
Do you recall your editorial "Where's Roger Hayden" (Jan. 20)? How hypocritical that you condemn the Teachers Association of Baltimore County for demonstrating for essential services -- but feel comfortable taking elected officials to task for the same purposes.
At the budget hearing conducted by the County Council on May 12, those who "whined" were people from parks and recreation, nurses, policemen, firefighters, PTAers, parents, the elderly, clericals, instructional assistants, county employees and teachers.
They "whined" about the quality of life in Baltimore County, the same concerns that have been "whined" about on your editorial pages.
And now you suggest that incoming superintendent, Stuart D. Berger, "likely won't be as sympathetic" to teacher frustrations as Robert Y. Dubel. Is that good?
It is irresponsible for you to suggest that Dr. Berger will not be responsive to the needs of the classroom teacher because "he has an anti-union reputation."
We will have disagreements with Dr. Berger -- we had them with his predecessors -- but the new superintendent should be given the opportunity to start without prejudice being voiced in the local newspaper.
As for me and the association, everything we did was "pragmatic." More teachers in more schools participated in more demonstrations, more letter writing, more telephoning and the current work-to-rule job action than at any previous time.
The overwhelming majority of association members rather than some "radical wing" is deeply and sincerely concerned regarding the support for public schools in Baltimore County.
Edward W. Veit
The writer is president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County.
Perhaps I missed something, but I have difficulty seeing the logic behind your editorial "Lessons for TABCO Teachers."
After using their own money over the years to purchase needed supplies and materials not provided by austere school budgets, and doing without raises for the past two years, teachers were given unpaid furloughs to subsidize budget shortfalls resulting from the current recession.
Despite The Sun's implication, pay is only part of the issue. What also angered teachers was the county executive's refusal to wait until the General Assembly determined exactly how much state money the county would lose.